Judge blocks media access to images of semi-clad Bieber

Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:00pm EST
 
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By David Adams

MIAMI (Reuters) - A Miami judge temporarily blocked media access to any more semi-clad video images of Justin Bieber filmed while the teenage pop singer was in police custody last month after his arrest for driving under the influence.

Miami-Dade County Judge William Altfield ordered that about 10 hours of police surveillance video not be released until he has been able to review them in his chambers. The footage included clips of Bieber giving a urine sample.

"While in custody at the Miami Beach police station, the defendant was captured on videotape in various states of undress which show intimate personal parts of the defendant's body," according to a legal motion filed earlier this month in Miami-Dade County Court by Bieber's Miami law firm.

One video showing Bieber being patted down by a Miami Beach officer was already released to the media in early February, the motion states, in violation of the law and before the singer's lawyers were notified of its existence.

The motion said the Florida constitution and state law protected such images from being publicly disclosed.

Releasing video from Bieber's brief time in custody would cause "irreparable harm," the teen's lawyers say, requesting that they be allowed to view the images before any decision is made to release them to the media under Florida's liberal public records law.

"I am at this time ordering the Miami Beach Police Department not to disclose the records until such time as this court has made a decision," the judge ruled after an hourlong hearing.

Altfield said he would announce his decision at a March 4 hearing, although less-revealing video clips from Bieber's hours in custody may be released at an earlier date if his lawyers agree. At issue are four short clips of Bieber urinating at the police station, partially obscured by a low wall, the court heard.   Continued...

 
Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber gestures at a beach as he takes a break in a resort in Punta Chame, on the outskirts of Panama City January 27, 2014. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso